Mariners Sign Franklin Gutierrez

4:31pm: The Mariners confirmed the deal via press release.

8:57am: The Mariners and Franklin Gutierrez are in agreement on a one-year, $1MM contract, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (Twitter links). The Octagon client can earn an additional $2MM via incentives, according to Rojas, who adds that Gutierrez's incentives begin when he reaches 250 plate appearances That milestone would net him an additional $200K.

Gutierrez posted a .248/.273/.503 in 141 plate appearances in 2013 — his age-30 season. A pair of hamstring injuries shelved Gutierrez for the majority of the season, marking the third straight year in which injuries have caused him to spend more than 60 games on the disabled list. Since Opening Day 2011, Gutierrez has appeared in 173 games but missed 283 games while on the disabled list.

When healthy, it's tough to deny his upside, however. The veteran inked a four-year, $20.5MM extension with the Mariners after an outstanding 2009 season in which he batted .283/.339/.425 with 18 homers, 16 stolen bases and turned in the best center field defense in the game, all totaling a stellar 6.0 WAR. Following his injuries, the Mariners made the obvious call to decline the $7.5MM fifth-year option on that contract in favor of a $500K buyout.

Gutierrez will join an outfield mix that currently includes Dustin Ackley, Michael Saunders and recent signee Corey Hart, though Seattle has other options on the 40-man roster such as Abraham Almonte, Xavier Avery and Carlos Peguero. The team has also been linked to both Nelson Cruz and Shin-Soo Choo as GM Jack Zduriencik looks to bolster a perennially low-scoring offense.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports first reported last night that the Mariners and Gutierrez were nearing a new contract.


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48 Comments on "Mariners Sign Franklin Gutierrez"


McGlovin
1 year 7 months ago

So instead of the Tigers going after Gutierrez, they give Rajai Davis a 2 yr 10 million deal? I know Gutierrez has problems staying healthy but as the RH bat in an OF platoon he would have only been making 60-70 starts anyways. Then they could have used the money they saved on signing Gutierrez instead of Rajai and use it towards their awful bullpen.

1 year 7 months ago

Davis offers legitimate speed, but I agree. The Tigers need every spare dollar they can find and Davis seems like a luxury they should have avoided.

McGlovin
1 year 7 months ago

Granted Gutierrez probably would have commanded more of a base salary with Detroit since it’s less of a guarantee he’d get playing time in Detroit (unless Seattle plans on making LoMo or Hart their LF or playing Ackley full time in CF). And while I agree Rajai Davis is fast, you know what they always say…..you can’t steal first base.

Joe Valenti
1 year 7 months ago

I think the idea is that he will be coming off the bench so he won’t have to

McGlovin
1 year 7 months ago

So the Tigers paid 10 mill over 2 yrs for a pinch runner? I don’t understand why they’d pay so much for a one dimensional player?

Joe Valenti
1 year 7 months ago

He’s obviously more than just a pinch runner. He’s insurance for AJax, he’s the 4th OF, etc. but the Tigers would be very happy if 9/10 times he plays it’s for late inning defense or a pinch running appearance. If they don’t need more than that then that would mean that the OF is healthy and producing

McGlovin
1 year 7 months ago

Late inning defense from a guy who committed 8 errors in the OF last yr? Don’t you think 2 yrs 10 million for Rajai Davis is an overspend for a team trying to tighten the wallet this off season? He can’t hit RHP so what kind of insurance policy is he for ajax?? Bottom line is you don’t give a 33 yr old Rajai Davis a 2 yr 10 mill contract. That’s a luxury not a necessity, especially since he’s a 4th OF/pinch runner. If you think he’s a defensive upgrade over dirks ajax or hunter in a late game situation, may God have mercy on your soul.

Joe Valenti
1 year 7 months ago

I’m not arguing the contract right now. It’s not a good contract, but realistically, there are very few “good” contracts being given out this offseason. My point is that the Tigers clearly have decided that they want speed. While Franklin Gutierrez could provide that, if he’s hurt, he has no value to them. I think they put a premium on the fact that Davis is likely to be able to provide them speed for 162 games. Money aside, Gutierrez doesn’t solve their speed problem because it’s likely he won’t be healthy. Davis does.

McGlovin
1 year 7 months ago

I agree davis solves their “speed” problem…..that’s the one thing Rajai does well. My main issue is it doesn’t “solve” the problem if he’s not an everyday starter. If his speed is best utilized as a late inning pinch runner, why not just acquire QBerry back and not pay him 5 mill? Like you though, I think the overall contract is horrible. I just think they could have found a speed guy/4th OF/defensive replacement for much cheaper considering the holes on this 25 man roster still. I really hope I don’t have to see Rajai patrolling CF very much at Comerica. His defense or lack thereof would be completely exposed if ajax were ever on the shelf long term.

Zachary Eick
1 year 7 months ago

I told my friends a week before the Davis signing that Gutierrez would have been a bold signing for the Tigers to take, but I didn’t see happening. I got laughed at…

McGlovin
1 year 7 months ago

I just think he would have been the perfect fit as a 4th OF in Detroit. The guy would platoon with Dirks and can fill in for Jackson and hunter on off days and injuries (since ajax is always on the DL once a year). He’s got good pop in his bat, speed, and he’s a plus defensive player. Yes I know he can’t stay healthy, but I think being very conservative with his games played being a 4th OF he’d be a much more efficient, heathy player.

Zachary Eick
1 year 7 months ago

Exactly why I got laughed at: the injuries. However he would have been a low risk/high reward type like Joba. Don’t get me wrong, Davis is a nice signing… I just wanted a GG outfielder with 20-25 HR potential more.

Joe Valenti
1 year 7 months ago

The issue at hand is that you assume that limiting his playing time will limit his injuries. It’s not like he’s an old player like Beltran, who just generally can’t take the wear and tear of 162 games. Gutierrez is injury prone, meaning that limiting his playing time just limits the likelihood of getting hurt, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen

McGlovin
1 year 7 months ago

I realize his injury risk but I also realize at the price he’s a low risk option compared to Rajai Davis. I think it’s more my disdain for Davis at his price then anything. I figure this equation…..Gutierrez at 2 mill and a RP at 5.5 mill>Davis at 5 mill and Joba at 2.5 mill.

Joe Valenti
1 year 7 months ago

1. I was just making sure you made that distinction in your mind. I’ve noticed that people can be ignorant with how injuries work. In this case the distinction between wear and tear injuries vs situational injuries. (My biggest pet peeve is when people confuse “injury prone” with “often injurred”…ie- Daniel Murphy had 2 consecutive plays where he got injurred 2 different ways and people called him “injury prone.” Since then he has played 156 and 161 games in 2012 and 2013 respectively)

2. I get your point, and to I agree but take this into account: what makes the Tigers better than most teams is their team is often very durable and consistent. It can be really beneficial to a manager when all of his assets are uniform through the full 162

McGlovin
1 year 7 months ago

Remind me again when Rajai Davis has been available for all 162. He has a decent DL history as well. Obviously nowhere near the amount if Gutierrez but he does have an injury history and he’s no longer a spring chicken in baseball age….ESPECIALLY for a speed guy.

Joe Valenti
1 year 7 months ago

Right, you can poke holes in just about any free agent/contract this offseason. Davis fit the Tigers’ needs the best

McGlovin
1 year 7 months ago

They coulda always traded fister (or porcello w others) to sd for chase Headley and keep castellanos in the OF and platoon him w Dirks. His minor league defense at 3B is frightening. And I’m serious when I ask this question…..who the heck bats 5th for the tigers next yr? Kinsler? Hunter?

Joe Valenti
1 year 7 months ago

I don’t think you can take Hunter out of the 2 hole after the production he saw last year. I didn’t really pay much attention to the Tigers’ lineup last year: is AJax a leadoff hitter? I guess it goes AJax, Hunter, Cabrera, VMart, Kinsler, Dirks/Avila/Costellanos/Iglesias…unless Iglesias’ numbers last year weren’t a fluke (which I doubt), then maybe you lead off with Iglesias and make AJax your 5 or 6

McGlovin
1 year 7 months ago

The fact you even suggested Iglesias bat lead off made me do a triple take to make sure I saw that correctly. He’s nowhere near being a lead off hitter. Down the road some scouts think he might be able to be a #2 hitter. Right now he’s not good enough to hit anywhere really but the bottom of the lineup. And honestly I don’t care if Iglesias has anything other then IF singles all yr. He’s one the best defensive SS in mlb. I’m more worried about taking fielder peralta and infante out of this lineup while replacing them with castellanos kinsler and dirks/davis.

Joe Valenti
1 year 7 months ago

I understood where you were coming from. I agree. I was just trying to project the lineup. And regarding Iglesias, I’m aware that he’s not a good leadoff hitter but I’m not sure the Tigers have a clear leadoff guy. If the stars align and Iglesias repeats the numbers he put up with the Sox (which is highly unlikely) he may make the most sense. That way AJax can hit 6th, making the lineup that much deeper.

I’ve always thought that a 2 hitter (and in this case a 1 hitter since the Tigers’ lineup allows) should be a hitter that would normally be a 6, 7, 8, who could benefit from the added protection. By doing this, you can put a hitter lower in the lineup (AJax), and create a deeper lineup. I would argue to do that with Torii Hunter but he had such a successful year last year that I wouldn’t mess with it

Michael
1 year 7 months ago

Has anyone figured out why they didn’t pick up the option on Veras? Anyone?

McGlovin
1 year 7 months ago

I think the major issue with Veras was he sort of faded down the stretch and in the playoffs. I figured at seasons end they’d pick up his option because it was relatively cheap for a 1 yr commitment to a solid yet unspectacular bullpen piece. Shows how much I know! I’m just seriously underwhelmed with Detroits offseason. Additions to the 25 man roster: Nathan Joba Davis Kinsler Holaday Krol Castellanos Lombardozzi and Smyly from pen to rotation. Losses to the 25 man roster:Fielder Peralta Infante Tui Fister Benoit Veras Pena Santiago and Smyly gone from the pen. Not sure who im missing in that list….maybe Perez makes the team as a utility player since they don’t have a real backup SS. I’m not sure how that’s gonna look on the field.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 7 months ago

Mariners sure have a lot of players that will be good IF they can stay healthy. LoMo, Hart and Gutierrez played a total of 126 games between them in 2013.

Joe Valenti
1 year 7 months ago

Was Hart’s injury a lingering one or one that typically takes a year to recover from? I know he got surgery on both knees but I wasn’t sure if he had setbacks or if it was just normal recovery…

alexamato
1 year 7 months ago

I’m very impressed by the moves Seattle is making!

drwheelock
1 year 7 months ago

I expected him to get a $2m Base w/incentives. I “like” this move a LOT.

livingpaint
1 year 7 months ago

Some people might think you like this a bit too much… 7 of the 11 comments so far are yours, and you even responded to one of your own comments. hehehe That said, I think excitement is valid. Guti is great when he can play. Its not like he was Figgins who could have lost his starting role to a cardboard cutout…. If Guti can give us 1 full season, hopefully it’ll be enough of a show to push other OF’ers to consider coming to Seattle and maybe sign another 1 year extension.

drwheelock
1 year 7 months ago

When healthy he’s the BEST Defensive CFer in the game. Interestingly in his 151 PAs in 2013 Gutz hit 10 HRs, which avgs out to 40+ HRs if he actually hit 600-650.

Douglas Bath
1 year 7 months ago

I doubt he will ever be the BEST again. I also doubt he will ever have a 20 homer season, much less 40.

Jonathan Barlock
1 year 7 months ago

Guti reminds me of a guy named Brain Roberts

BeisbolJunkie
1 year 7 months ago

I’ve been saying that the past 2 years. I got curious a while back to see which team came out worse during the last 4 years, SEA or BAL. In terms of games played It wasn’t as close as I thought it would have been.
Guti 325 games for $18.625m
Roberts 192 games for $40m
SEA Lost $9.38m
BAL Lost $28.2m

drwheelock
1 year 7 months ago

you can’t count on Gutz for 600 PA’s, but 15-22 HRs on a platoon OF/DH situation and 300 PAs should be pretty doable. If he splits 50/50 time between CF & DH he could very possibly hit 500-600 PAs.

drwheelock
1 year 7 months ago

Nice move Seattle!

$3513744
1 year 7 months ago

call it a hunch, but i’m getting the sense you like this move.

drwheelock
1 year 7 months ago

Platoon OF/DH situation and he could hit 500-600 PAs and 30+ HRs

Douglas Bath
1 year 7 months ago

yeah… right. you realize his career high is 18 right?

drwheelock
1 year 7 months ago

I wanted Granderson & Ellsbury in Seattle, but with the LH/RH splits in Seattle’s OF with Hart and Gutz HRs, Seattle has the cheapest OF with some very decent D and 60 HR potential between Gutz and Hart

drwheelock
1 year 7 months ago

$7M for Gutz & Hart (w/incentives) versus $37M/yr for Granderson and Ellsbury. That $30M ‘extra’ Seattle can use now to land Tanaka & Price. Interesting!

BeisbolJunkie
1 year 7 months ago

How is Seattle going to land Price with $? TB wants prospects that JZ doesn’t want to part with, not cash. Plus what good would it do for the team in 2 years when not only is Price gone, but so is the Walker & whoever else?

johnrhee
1 year 7 months ago

Nice to bring back Gutierrez as an insurance backup outfielder for defense liability. Jack Z and Scott Boras better get on the phone to inquire Shin
Soo Choo of bringing him back to Seattle on a reasonable contract signing. Then, the team can trade Nick Franklin, Justin Smoak or Jesus Montero, and either a Dustin Ackley or Michael Saunders to a team that has pitching and can use help at first & second base and outfield help if a team like the Reds can pull off the deal to move Arroyo or Bailey.

Jonathan Barlock
1 year 7 months ago

The Mariners OF and 1B is a mess just like lasr yr. I hope they can get it sorted out .

BeisbolJunkie
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah! It’s like groundhog day.
I don’t think Jack Z understands that 5 guys can’t all play 1B or LF at the same time. And you would think he would have learned from last years Catching Catastrophes and addressed that situation first, But no.

tedsfrozenhead
1 year 7 months ago

Can’t count on him to be healthy. I was hoping we’d be looking to add players without questions of their health being so prominent. Last 3 signings are injury prone guys who combined played about 3/4s of the year in 2013.

OUTFOXEM
1 year 7 months ago

The way it works is you play one, keep the other two on the bench. Then when the first one goes down in late May, you bring in the second until late July. When he goes down the third comes in to carry you through September.

Not sure what happens if you make it to October though…

James F
1 year 7 months ago

Carlos Peguero as an option, surely you jest.

trenigro
1 year 7 months ago

I find it pretty hilarious that Peguero is still on the 40 man. King Felix hasn’t ran him out of town yet?

BeisbolJunkie
1 year 7 months ago

Yeah, how is that going to work out next year. Poor Felix is not having a good winter. Did anybody think it was odd that his house caught on fire too?